By JoAnna Ness, Aug 14 2018 02:47PM
Entering her senior year at Fremont High School, Autumn Godwin has a lot on her plate. In addition to applying at colleges, playing softball, attending meetings for National Honors Society and Student Council, and helping with Boomerang Backpack, she’s taken on the challenge of serving as President of Forever Improving Steuben County Together—better known as FIST. This is SCCF’s youth philanthropy group. Once a month, about five students from each of the Steuben County schools ranging from 8th grade to seniors will sit in a board room and review grant requests, discuss community needs, and identify ways to give back. Although the youth are supported by three school volunteers and SCCF’s Youth Philanthropy Coordinator, Susie Nafziger, FIST is entirely student led. Autumn will work with her executive team to set each meeting’s agenda, reach out to nonprofits for service opportunities, and determine where their pool of grant dollars can make the biggest community impact.
In the past, FIST has worked with elementary school classrooms to share the concepts of philanthropy—time, talent, and treasure—and give them a taste of grantmaking. FIST members have also visited with residents at Cameron Woods who would never have heard about the group otherwise, bridging generational gaps and building connections in the community.